Tokita Shuntarou knew that this was the most dangerous job he had ever done.
Looking back, he didn't think that way. But now that he's here, in front of the man he's been trying to find for more than 3 weeks, he knew he's in danger.
He couldn't back out now.
Not when he saw those once doeful round brown eyes (now completely dull and lifeless) turn to face him. He lost his breath.
Damn it Tamura Katsuhiro, why the hell did he have to fall in love with you?!
Shuntarou thought there was something in Sumiyoshi Misuzu that put her in the same category as the President. He knew it wasn't just because of her formal attire, or her no nonsense aura. No. She was different.
She was one of the women he would never mess around with.
Especially since she had that shiny lawyer badge on her blazer.
But of course, he knew about her. Everyone knew about the Spit-Fire Prosecutor. No one wanted to get in her path whether it be outside or inside the courtrooms. So Shuntarou shut his mouth and simply just stood beside them. Taking her in, as she presented herself to them.
"I'll cut to the chase." she began, "My name is Sumiyoshi Misuzu." She presented a card.
"I want you to find someone for me, and if at all possible, bring him back. If not, you are to present me with his location." she stated, making no sob story or give out any other information as to why she came to ask that request. Shuntarou found that interesting.
But he'd rather not play around with a lawyer. The way she glared at him was another proof that he definitely DID not want to be connected with her, lawyer or not.
Tsukushi-san took her card with a slight bow. He steadily stood back and beckoned her to take a seat.
She took it and placed bag infront of her, waiting for Tsukushi-san to take a seat across her.
"Who do you want us to locate?" Tsukushi-san asked her. She looked at him and began her tale. "His name is Tamura Katsuhiro, my fiance."
Junpei made a face and blinked. "Tamura Katsuhiro? The Soft Heart Prosecutor? Yutori?!" he asked. Sumiyoshi-san made a wry smile. "Yes. Our names aren't often linked together aside from the fact we both came from the same agency."
She gave a sigh and reached in her bag and pulled out a picture of Tamura Katsuhiro. Tsukushi-san took it and looked at it before handing it to Junpei.
Asuka and Shuntarou moved closer to take a peek.
Shuntarou blinked when he realized that this man didn't look like a lawyer at all.
Handsome smirk on those full lips. Doeful brown eyes. Chipmunk cheeks and easy going aura. No, this guy didn't seem to be a lawyer at all. He seemed more like an idol if given the chance. Or maybe a high school History Teacher, one that has girls swooning in his mere presence. Those but definitely
NOT a lawyer. But he had heard of the Soft Heart Prosecutor. That he was always filled with righteous passion, which he eagerly took to court.
Presenting facts and data that always placed the defense in a pickle.
His brother often talks about how a newbie lawyer arrived just a year after Spit Fire Sumiyoshi.
So why on earth would she be looking for him?
"Like I said, we're engaged." she repeated. "But after a month living together, we got into a huge fight which ended up with him storming off to cool down.
"When we were supposed to meet 3 weeks ago to talk things out, he didn't show up. " She told them.
Everyone looked at each other, tucking away this piece of information.
"I thought it was just like Tamura not to show up, sulking away." she said with a slight laugh, but grew sober enough. "But when he didn't call or message me two days later, I knew something was wrong." When she saw their doubtful looks, she hastened to explain.
"Tamura isn't the type to leave things lying around for more than one day." she explained. "And I told you we both come from the same agency.
"When our boss came to me asking if I've seen him, I said no. That's when we confirmed something was wrong. Tamura would never miss his work just because he didn't want to see me. He actually cares about our clients. That's why he's called Soft Hearted." she spoke.
Shuntarou frowned. "Could it be he just got cold feet?" he asked her, wincing when Asuka hit him with her elbow.
Sumiyoshi-sensei frowned at him. "That's what the Police Department said. That's why I came to you. Besides, that's not like Tamura." she gave a small sad chuckle and looked down. "He'd rather face you dead on and tell you it's over than hide away because he's afraid to tell you the truth.
"He declined the first offer for him to become a lawyer you know." she said, not looking up. "He didn't want to because he was afraid that the people that would come to him would be afraid to talk to a lawyer, rather than a solicitor."
"Idiot Tamura." she spoke with fondness. Shuntarou looked at her and saw that once she really thought herself inlove with him, or maybe, she still is.
Isn't it why she came to them in the first place?
"We'll take the job." a new voice entered.
"Tooko-san!" Asuka cried. Sumiyoshi-sensei looked up and her eyes widened. "You will?"
Tooko-san smiled at her gently. "Yes. Just provide Tsukushi with more information about Tamura-sensei and we'll get to you when we get a break through."
Sumiyoshi smiled at her and sighed in relief. "Thank you."
Shuntarou looked at the picture again with critical eyes.
Tamura Katsuhiro was too cute to be a lawyer. He quickly blanched. He did not just think that!
He waved away that train of thought and and returned the picture back to Asuka (ignoring her curious look). He strood back to his chair, growling at Nitta's amused smile and thought the case through.
Another search and rescue? Easy.
Or so he thought.
"Cold..." he muttered as he sat in front of large looming office building. "Why do I always get these jobs?!" he muttered.
"Shut up, and concentrate." an irritated voice came through, probably Junpei. "What do you see?"
"A Building." he deadpanned. "I know that! No one coming out?" Junpei asked through their earpiece.
"No." he replied. "You can see that! Why do I have to be here if you're able to see everything?!"
"Extra pieces of eyes can help in the investigation." Nitta replied. "I see something moving behind the door."
Instantly, they were all alert. Shuntarou fastened himself casually on the wall pretending to be in a deep conversation over the phone. But his eye was following the man who just came out. He frowned.
"Wasn't that the lawyer who got his licensed revoked?" Shuntarou asked. Junpei made a small whistle. "Wow, you actually follow current news."
Shuntarou growled. "Haha. My brother kept raving about it you idiots. It's a little hard to ignore it if he still talks about it."
Nitta scoffed. "But the fact you remember it is a miracle." He frowned. "Will the two of you shut--"
He didn't continue. He felt a something poke his back and froze. He turned slightly and saw a man smiling at him cruelly. "So, who are you and why are you stalking my boss' office?"
"Shuntarou?" a voice spoke. "Oie. Shuntarou!"
But he couldn't respond. His eyes were still held trapped on that simple item held to his back. "Look kid, if you're working for Sumiyoshi-sensei. We should chat with my boss. Work for you and your little hiding friends?" he smirked.
"Shuntarou. Say yes. We'll be there with you." Nitta replied. With a slight nod, he replied with an affirmative.
"Good boy. Maybe you can tell my boss why his son is missing."
Shuntarou gaped at the old man infront of him. The man was giving out a huge sigh.
"I do apologize about my body guards." he started. "They often are too over protective." The men behind him didn't say anything, but Shuntarou could see one who rolled his eyes (the same man who took him).
"It's completely alright, Washizuka-sensei." Junpei started. "We're detectives."
Washizuka-sensei took his offered card and stared at it before presenting it to the man behind him. He gave them an appraising look. "You don't look useful."
Shuntarou bristled in anger, but a look from Nitta made him back down with a scowl. Junpei gave a little awkward chuckle. "True that we don't look like much, but our skills are there, Washizuka-sensei."
He gave them an appraising look and backed down. He gave them a tired sigh.
"Katsuhiro and I never really looked each other in the eye." he started. "I did after all abandon his mother, he never really forgave me for that."
Shuntarou's widened at that information but wisely did not say anything.
Junpei then frowned. "So Tamura-sensei is your son." The old man nodded and leaned back on his arm chair. "Yes, though to the general public it seemed more like Katsuhiro is against me being a defense attorney. But really, it's deeper than that."
Nitta spoke. "If that is the case, why is Tamura-sensei using his mother's clan name?"
The old man gave a wry smile. "I married into the family, I changed my name into theirs to continue the legacy of Katsuhiro's grandfather. And married my current wife and used her family name to rise higher."
Shuntarou couldn't believe this man. "So you threw aside your wife and son to rise higher?!" Washizuka looked at him and glared. "Despite what you think, boy--" to this, Shuntarou growled, "---I care much about Katsuhiro and his mother ! I abandoned them so that they would never be used against me! I didn't want them to get caught in the middle and suffer because of my dream to reach the top!" he hissed at them.
They were shocked into silence. They didn't dare talk, not wanting to incure the wrath of the aging defense attorney.
Washizuka took out a picture from his pocket and gave it to them. "I have heard of whispers in the Underground of a new toy. I feared for the worse." He gave them a pained glance. "And I was right."
Shuntarou took the picture and felt his heart clench slightly.
He would recognize those sloping shoulders anywhere. And the broken look in the man's eyes made him realize that they needed to get him back. Soon.
Sumiyoshi-sensei paled at the picture but suprisingly, kept her cool. "I was hesitant to point you towards Washizuka-sensei's direction" she told them honestly, "I don't think he would do anything against him. But I had no other leads."
Junpei nodded in sympathy. "Did you know he was Tamura-sensei's father?" She nodded. "Yes. Tamura wasn't very fond of the man, he abandoned them when he was young and caused his grandfather's death." They all turned to each other. This was new.
She looked at them in concern. "Can we get him out?" Nitta approached. "We can try, but it's not going to be easy."
Sumiyoshi-sensei sighed. "I imagine it won't be." She grabbed her file bag and pulled some papers. "I managed to get some information about the Underground." She shook her head as Junpei took it. "I'm afraid it's not much"
Shuntarou frowned. "Underground is like a blackmarket for sex slaves isn't it?" They all turned to him in shock. Nitta rose his brow. "And you would know this why?" He blushed and looked away. "...I flirted with a girl whose husband frequents it."
They deadpanned. "Of course."
Sumiyoshi-sensei sighed. "It's not just for buying them, since sometimes they're too expensive. They ... rent them out sometimes." She took a look at the picture and backed down a sob. "The main point of the Underground is to break someone you want broken...gone but not to kill them. You want them to suffer."
They all bristled in anger.
"It becomes literally a hell for any one who becomes a Project of the Underground." she whispered, "Slowly, the fire in the Project's eyes start going out before they eventually disappear."
Shuntarou frowned. "Sounds like hell..." She gave him a wry smile. "It is."
They needed to get him out.
Very very fast.
Junpei frowned as he looked at the facts presented in front of him. "Who could've masterminded this?"
Nitta threw a dart towards Washizuka-sensei's picture and spoke. "It couldn't have been him, it's clear that he's as clueless as we are."
Asuka moaned. "They're lawyers! They have too many enemies!" Shuntarou perked up.
"But what if he pissed someone off before he had become a lawyer?" he asked.
They all turned to him. Asuka squaked, not understanding his logic. "What?" she asked for all of them.
He grinned at them brightly. "Wasn't he a Solicitor before he became a lawyer?" They all nodded. "And from what Sumiyoshi-sensei said, he became brilliant because of that job."
They all nodded once again. "What if he had pissed someone off when he was still a Solicitor, a nobody? And when he became a lawyer, this anger turned into hate?"
They must have gotten the idea because Junpei suddenly jumped. "Kayano-kun, pull out the records of any news about the Ohno Firm!" She replied with a small, "Roger"
Nitta turned to him. "What is this about?"
Junpei frowned at him. "Some years ago, a small firm called Ohno Firm had closed down an operation with a Conspiring Lawyer. I just can't remember the name of the man they had shut down." He walked around trying to think. "I remember that he was one Washizuka-sensei's prized apprentice. The Prosecutor's Office investigated this and it was such a huge scandal that Washizuka dropped the man."
"Found it" Kayano spoke out and quickly, they all flocked her. "Inugami Seiichi" Junpei cried. "Yes, that's the man." They all turned to him. "I heard his licence was revoked."
They all stared at the man's picture and yes. They could imagine the man evil enough to do this to someone who lives only to help others.
And it was a disgusting feeling.
Shuntarou turned to them. "So we have a possible lead on who did this, but how does one get Tamura-sensei out?" He was met with equally blank stares. He sighed. This was going to be a long day.
He was out getting coffee when he saw Sumiyoshi just standing infront of the railings, looking at something. Curiousity over came being tactful, he approached her. "Sumiyoshi-sensei..." he greeted her as he approached. She turned to him suprised and gave him a tired smile.
"Tokita-san" she greeted back. He grinned at her and asked, "What are you doing here, Sumiyoshi-sensei?" She gave a small chuckle. "I was finalizing my papers and I just came back from my check up." Shuntarou back tracked. "Wait, check up?"
She gave him a very sad smile. "I was pregnant."
He looked at her shocked. "Was?" She closed her eyes. "I lost our baby due to stress and I didn't even know I was pregnant." Slowly, tears flowed out. Shuntarou looked pained, not knowing what to do. "That was why we had an argument, you know. I was living in self loathing and he was trying to tell me that it wasn't my fault. So I lashed out at him---saying he was a worthless man. That he would be a horrible father, he should've known as well."
She looked at him straight in the eye. "I didn't mean it of course, but I just lost the baby and I was emotional. But I knew I hurt him so much." she gave a shaky sigh and wiped her eyes. "I want him back."
She looked him in the eye and softened. "You'll take my place by his side won't you?" He blinked in surprise. "Hai?" he asked with a tentative smile.
She looked out into the bay with a small smile. "He has this odd presence that draws people in. It doesn't matter if you think he's incompetent because in the end, you can't help but be the moth to his flame." She gave him a compassionate smile. "Take care of him for me, Tokita-san." With that, she gave a small bow and left.
Shuntarou stood there and exclaimed, "Wait, what?!"
He surveyed the surroundings with calm ease but inwardly he was vibrating with glee. Nitta gave him a warning glance beside him and he rolled his eyes. He winced as Asuka dug her nails in his arm, he glared at her and she whispered, "Focus." Shuntarou growled at her. "I am."
Before Asuka could reply, Junpei growled at them from behind. "Behave."
The two of them hmph-ed. "Hai..."
They spread out and Asuka simpered on his arm that made Shuntarou inwardly cringe in distaste. In the corner of his eye, he saw Washizuka-sensei arrive and caught each of their eyes with a slight nod (to outsiders, almost to himself) and moved forward.
A man in black stopped the man midstride. They all tensed.
"Inugami." Washizuka greeted the younger. "Washizuka-sensei" Inugami greeted with hidden anger but hidden well in polite indifference. "I'm so glad you could make it."
The older attorney nodded. "I came when you said you had something interesting to show me...?"
The younger man grinned at him and led him forward. They all watched him like a hawk. "I climbed the top of the Underground quickly enough, sensei." he started talking, "After all, my career as a lawyer was over. But that doesn't mean I no longer could excercise my understanding of the law."
Washizuka looked at him bored. "Was there any point of inviting me to this, less than pleasing location?" Inugama gave him a pleasing smile. "Of course, sensei. I know how much you adore Tamura-sensei. Though you have quite a unique way of showing it." Washizuka snapped. "Was there any point of this rambling, Inugami?"
Inugama said nothing but did smile cruelly at his once mentor and gestured at the stage. "Who do you think will appear there as the main attraction? Covered in nothing, bleeding, bruised and lifeless? Who do you think break tonight, Washizuka-sensei?"
Shuntarou turned his eyes to the small stage at the end of the grand hall. One word rang through all their head.
Shuntarou and Nitta made themselves sparse quickly and tried to figure out a way to get backstage which they found in an empty hallway, guarded by two burly men.
They grinned at each other and quickly sidestepped the two men they had just surprised.
Nitta motioned for him to go right and Shuntarou rolled his eyes but complied without a word.
He slowly moved forward and hid behind a crate when he saw a man leering. He couldn't see what (or who) he was leering at, but his gut instinct told him exactly who.
Without notice, he punched the other man and watched in satisfaction as the man fell forward, unconscious. He turned front and inhaled sharply.
Once doeful round brown eyes (now completely dull and lifeless) turn to face him. He lost his breath.
He couldn't hear, feel, see anything else but those eyes boring into his. He could feel his heart beating and knew he couldn't back out now. Blinking, he knelt in front of the other (painfully aware of the other's nakedness), he removed his jacket and slowly wrapping it around the man. Not once, removing his eyes from the other's insistent gaze.
He moved his arms in a gesture he hoped was a placating gesture. The other man nodded slowly and Shuntarou quickly picked up the other and stood
up and stopped at the sight of one of the burly mean glaring at him menacingly.
"Shit" he cursed. "Nitta!" he cried, "I got him!"
He held on to his bundle tighter as the man walked forward. "Oye, Junpei-san, get us out of here!"
He jumped back when the large oaf suddenly fell forward. He looked up and saw Junpei's affections in front of him with a stun gun.
He gave her a grin. "Wicked." She gave him a hint of a small smile. "Are you okay?" He nodded.
Paramedics came forward in a rush. He was about to relinquish his hold on the man but he whimpered and refused to let go. Yuki-san looked shocked and looked at him in confusion. He didn't know himself.
"Tamura-san, we need to get you to the hospital." he whispered. The man shivered and looked up at him but didn't say anything, "I'll still be here when you wake up."
Tamura-sensei took in his promise and allowed the medics to take him away. Nitta approached him with a concerned look on his face. "Good job." he spoke. Shuntarou snorted in amusement. "Arigatai~"
He looked his hands again and clenched it. Tamura's blood drying on his shirt and hands made him look like a morbid well dressed handsome man.
But the thing he hated most was that Tamura's warmth was no longer pressed against him.
He walked up to the hospital where he was kept, despite his inhibitions.
Detectives shouldn't associate themselves with their clients after the case. But he couldn't keep away.
Not when those doeful eyes are engraved his mind. He cursed softly as he approached the nurse station. Against his bitter judgement, here he was.
Just as he was about to ask, when a voice called out to him.
He turned around quickly and eyes showed his relief. "Sumiyoshi-sensei." he greeted with an easy smile. She looked curious and smiled back at him.
"His room is in 3104" she provided him. "He's not yet awake, but go ahead and see him."
He noticed that she was headed and out and called out once more. "Where are you going?" She sighed. "I have to go arrange the court hearing."
Shuntarou made an Oh! face. She giggled.
"My request still stands, Tokita-san." she told him. "Please, stand by his side."
Shuntarou blushed while she smiled. He could only follow her form as she left the building.
"What a strong woman..." he whispered and quickly turned back to the nurse on duty. "Which way to room 3104?"
Again, against his judgement he came over a second time, then it became third and soon, he visited at least once a day.
Today, however, something was different. A woman, not old but not quite young --- his mother! Shuntarou thought when he opened the door and saw her sitting beside her son's bed, eyes filled with tears but did not fall. She held on his hand. And Shuntarou felt like he breached a very intimate scene between mother and son.
The woman turned to him in surprise and gave a small smile. "You must be Tokita Shuntarou?" He nodded with a hesitant smile. "Hai."
"Misuzu-san has told me that you were the one that took him away from that place." she told him, turning to the man in the bed. "I knew that this job was going to be dangerous, but I didn't think that he could be one of this business' victim." She whispered. "I didn't think he'd be like my father"
Shuntarou didn't know what to say to that. So he didn't. He stood beside her looking at the man still not waking in front of them. "He still hasn't woken up yet?" she asked, her eyes trailing all the bruises and bandages wrapping the man. He winced. "No, not yet."
She never took her eyes off her son. "Misuzu says you're taking over her spot." He blushed and stuttered. She turned to him with a soft smile.
"You're just like her. Stubborn with fire, strong like a pillar---someone who can stand by his spontaneous side and not be disrupted by anything he chooses to do." she told him with an affectionate smile. "Something she told me she lacked. Something that you have. The ability to be as spontaneous as Katsuhiro."
He didn't say a word. "Did you know Katsu-san was exactly like Katsuhiro? He was just as spontaneous. He decided one day he didn't want to be married to me when he rose to the top." She said. "He told me because he was done with my father and his reputation. He wanted to do with us any more."
Shuntarou felt the anger saddle back. "But that was such an painful lie."
He turned to her shocked. "Huh?"
She stroked her son's face. "Katsuhiro is so much like his father. Lying to protect. Letting go for love." Her tears finally fell.
"Did you go to the court hearing?" Shuntarou asked as he slowly took a seat beside her. She nodded. "My father was an attorney. I'm no stranger to court hearings. Besides, I have to defend my son's honor."
He laughed lightly. "Shouldn't it be the other way around? The son defending his mother's honor?" She looked him squarely in the eye with the same fire he recognized in the Soft-Hearted Lawyer, knowing exactly where he received it. "Doesn't a mother protect her own son when you were still so young to understand? It does not change when you age, because a mother is a mother." Her eyes softened. "But, when he finds a better partner, we may back down a little." He looks at her, a little confused.
"So please, Tokita -- no, Shuntarou --- please take care of my son from here on out."
He could only blush and nod his head. He doesn't get why he's getting all these wishes. When clearly, the man was still engaged.
And that thought pierced his heart.
=Two weeks after the raid=
Shuntarou takes the man's good hand tightly and sighed.
"Am I that easy to read?" he whispered, taking a glance at the man's handsome face. "Is it so easy to read that I fell in love with you without even meeting you?"
As he expected, Tamura didn't reply.
"All I heard were stories of your exploits. I've met the people you helped and they had nothing but praise and amusement about you.
"I've had nothing but you on my mind. When I finally met you, I realized that hell. I was falling in love with you without even knowing." he said with a wry smile. "I never knew that confessing to someone could be so easy..." he gave a chuckle and held the hand tighter. "Must be because you haven't woken up."
He leaned forward and whispered near his face. "Wake up, Tamura-sensei." he inched closer. "So I can properly confess."
He kissed that plump mouth softly and pulled back. Raising his brow when the blush covered the other man's face. "Well, good morning Sleeping Beauty." he greeted. A harsh glare met his calm smirking face. "Does that make you Prince Charming?" Tamura hissed. Shuntarou grinned and shrugged. "Maybe?"
Tamura groaned. "I didn't think I'd be so embarrassed waking up to you kissing me."
Shuntarou frowned. "So you didn't hear me?"
Tamura looked at him confused. "Hear you say what, Tokita-san?" Shuntarou frowned. "Never mind" he stood up and Tamura missed his warmth immediately. "I'm getting coffee."
Tamura followed his body with pained eyes. "I'm sorry..."
Shuntarou paused as he approached the room with a can of iced coffee.
"--ell him!" a very familiar voice hissed at him. "I can't!" Tamura replied. "Tamura." the voice had a tint of warning he remembers in Tsukushi's voice sometimes. It's very hard to make that old man angry, irritated easy, angry, not so much.
"I can't Misuzu!" Tamura cried. "Why not?" she responded easily, her eyes finding Shuntarou's form outside and smirked, but quickly hid it when Tamura raised his head. "I just can't!"
"Why?" she asked, her eyes keeping Shuntarou's form still as she beckoned him in silently. "Why can't you, Yutori?"
Tamura snorted and looked back on his hands. "I just really can't, don't push me Sumiyoshi." She rolled her eyes in exasperation. "Really? Back to last names now?" Her eyes on her Shuntarou entering the room, hiding behind him. "You only ever call me Katsuhiro if you're angry." She smiled slightly,
moving from the window to lean on the table across his bed.
Shuntarou locked eyes with her and she shook her head.
"Please, that's the only way you listen." she told him with a small wave of her hand. "Now, Katsuhiro. Why can't you?"
He looked away. "I just can't, okay?! Drop it."
"Why?" She persisted. "BECAUSE I'm BROKEN!" he yelled. They were stunned into silence. Shuntarou nearly dropped his drink, but caught himself before it actually fell. His eyes burning at Tamura's dejected back.
"I'm broken. Can't you see it?" he sobbed. "I'm broken!"
Sumiyoshi tried to step forward. "Katsu, you know that no one thinks that. Infact, I know you've got your assistancts bringing you work in here. Don't lie, I can tell."
Tamura shook his hea, tears falling. "I'm GOD DAMN BROKEN, and it has got nothing to do with my job!"
"I'm doing them to avoid sleeping." He gave a brief shudder. "When I go to sleep, I see them." Sumiyoshi stopped and her breath hitched.
"I see them every time I close my eyes! I hear them sneering and yelling! I feel their disgusting hands on me! I remember my screams! I remember the pain! I see them at night!
"I CAN'T GET THEM OUT OF MY HEAD!" he screeched, his eyes closed but the tears freely flowing.
"I can't tell him I fell in love with him because can't you see I'm broken?" he asked with a choked sob. "How can I tell him I love him for staying with me? For visiting me when he can, leaving me gifts, using his friends as his lackeys when he was busy, how can I tell him I love him when I'm so obviously not whole?! HOW CAN I TELL HIM I LOVE HIM WHEN I KNOW HE'S STUPID ENOUGH TO TELL ME HE LOVED ME TOO?! HOW CAN I ASK HIM TO SAY IT AGAIN BECAUSE I FEEL WHOLE WHEN HE SAYS IT?! HOW?!"
She had tears in her eyes but she didn't try to move forward. One of her hands covered her mouth and the other clutching her chest. "I don't know, Yutori" she whispered, reverting back to the nickname. "But I wasn't strong enough -- or compulsive enough to stay with you.
"I loved you. It's easy to love you. But sometimes, we aren't strong enough to handle you."
Tamura didn't say anything, eyes closed to the world. Not hearing anything -- or rather, not listening, trapped in his memories.
"I'm not calling you high maintenance. Far from it, if anything, I'm the one who's high maintenance." she whispered, moving closer.
"When you finally proposed, I was so happy." she sobbed. "Then we started living together, it was both a nightmare and the best thing in my life ever"
Shuntarou looked uneasy in his corner. Was it really okay to be here when this was really becoming so personal?
And for some reason, why does it seem like she was saying goodbye?
"Then I overworked myself because you were soaring so high, so fast that I felt that you were becoming out of my reach." she choked, she approached the man on the bed. "The worst mistake in my life, I could never forgive myself for it. Even if you had, it doesn't matter because I can't. Maybe one day, but now.
"Good bye, Katsuhiro." she whispered and kissed his cheek. She turned to the man hidden from the other. "You asked me how. Look around, ask him yourself." she told him.
She turned to the hidden man and smiled slightly. "He's free now." She slowly removed the lovely ring from her finger and let it drop on the bed.
"Take care of him, Shuntarou." With that, she left without looking back. But Shuntarou knew her tears were falling because she loved him. And she was letting him go.
Shuntarou didn't know what to do.
He was stunned.
He knew he shouldn't be doing this. He knew that he had left a very impressionable image on a man who's clinging to the person who had taken him away from his nightmares. But he didn't care.
They always say love makes you do stupid things. He agrees wholeheartedly.
"I love you" he whispered. He saw the man flinch. "I love you." he said it again. Tamura shook his head. "I love you." Shuntarou spoke, portraying his emotions, not once moving from his hidden spot.
"You CAN'T!" Tamura whispered harshly. "Please don't."
Shuntarou chuckled good naturedly and moved forward. "It's kind of too late to say that to me." He sat on the bed, resting his back on the abnormally comfortable pillows. "I kind of already did."
Tamura shook his head again. "Please..."
Shuntarou smiled slightly. "Tamura-sensei, I. Love. You" He moved forward and pulled the other onto his chest, allowing the other to weakly try and pull away.
"I love you." Shuntarou tried again.
There was no response, not that he was looking for one but still all he heard was the other man's sobs and heaves on his chest. He was about to repeat it when Tamura finally spoke.
"I know." he whispered. "I wish you didn't."
Shuntarou snorted. "Again, I say it again. It's already too late to say that."
He could feel the other smile on his chest. "Yeah..." Shuntarou hummed, vibrations on his chest making Tamura shiver. He held the man closer, relishing on the warmth he so desperately missed.
"You know, I think I fell in love with you the first time I saw you." Shuntarou stated calmly. Tamura didn't respond. "I didn't realize it then of course, but
I felt the rush of the attraction then I talked to all those people you helped. To all those people you've touched, and I couldn't help but say, 'Hey, he's actually pretty amazing, I get why my brother admires him now'."
"Then that admiration + attraction always turns into something more in the long run." he whispered. "When I looked at you for the first time in that club, I couldn't help but feel the rush of anger and realize why." He paused and tilted the man's face to face him.
He gave the other a warm smile and say, "Because I realized for the first time, I fell inlove with you without even meeting you." The other man tried to look away but Shuntarou wasn't having any of that. "You are an amazing person. It doesn't matter that you're broken.
"Because broken things can always be fixed." He smiled. "Even those who are lost can be found."
"I love you. And you are not telling me otherwise." He felt the other melt in his arms and grinned. He leaned forward and kissed him full on the mouth. "I love you, Tamura-sensei. You're response be?"
The other didn't respond, not while imitating a tomato but then he opened his mouth to retort and Shuntarou couldn't help but swoop back down and kiss him again. Tamura moaned into the kiss (which made him a little teenie tiny bit proud at that) and pulled back when he needed air.
Shuntarou looked at him expectantly. Tamura glared and looked him straight in the eye, the fire burning small but finally back. His look was hesitant yet determined. "...that's the third time you stole a kiss from me."
Shuntarou blinked before he laughed. "I wouldn't need to steal them if you gave them to me willingly." Tamura blushed and slapped him lightly on his chest. "I love you." Shuntarou blinked again in surprise and smiled. "Yeah? Thank you."
The way the lawyer smiled at him hesitantly and Shuntarou knew they were off at a good start.
=TWO MONTHS LATER=
Shuntarou looked at from his paperwork when he heard the door open and Kayano-kun muttered, "Tamura-san, konnichiwa". He gave a lazy smile as he saw him enter. "Katsuhiro." he greeted. The lawyer beamed back at him and bowed to the other people in the room.
Junpei muttered under his breath. "He's good with married women but he's also good with stealing men who was supposed to get married." Shuntarou glared at him in a snap and retorted, "I don't like getting labelled like that!"
Tamura gave a giggle as Asuka muttered, "He's not denying it."
Shuntarou growled and grabbed his jacket. "Let's go, Katsuhiro. I don't want you miss your appointment." Nitta smirked at him from across the room and raised one fine eyebrow, "Whipped already, Shuntarou?"
Tamura blushed and stammered a little--okay, a lot. Shuntarou rolled his eyes. "You're all just jealous with my finest catch." he threw back and watched in amusement when they all blushed and began to yell at him. He grabbed Tamura's hand and dragged him out quickly. Laughing as they went. Shuntarou turned to Tamura with a bright smile, who beamed at him as well. "Sorry 'bout that." he said. Tamura laughed it off. "You have to experience it with me back in my office too, so it's fine."
He smiled, his heart swelling with joy. Tamura had a large smile on his face, equal to his. "Thank you."
Shun looked at him with curiousity. "For what?"
"For loving me." Shun moved closer, face inches from each other. "Any time, Katsuhiro, any time."
And they sealed that with a kiss. Ignoring, the stammered whispers and the giggles they got. (Until of course, they broke apart and Shuntarou noticing his collegues stalking and chasing after them with a blushing Tamura left behind.)
This was how love stories were supposed to end.
Wasn't it? ♥
= End =